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The psychological impact of benching

 Dating: The psychological impact of benching (Photo: iStock)

In the fast-paced world of modern dating, there is a growing trend causing emotional turmoil for many - benching. This is when one person keeps another on the back burner, showing occasional interest but never fully committing to a relationship.

The psychological impact of benching can be profound, leaving those involved feeling confused, anxious and emotionally invested in a situation with uncertain outcomes. When you find yourself being benched, the emotional rollercoaster begins.

Uncertainty and inconsistency in the other person's actions can trigger mixed emotions, leaving you questioning your self-worth and desirability. Mixed signals and unanswered questions can erode your self-confidence, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

As you wait in limbo, hoping for the relationship to progress, frustration and anguish set in. The lack of clarity and closure can take a toll on your mental well-being. Coping with rejection and ambiguity becomes a challenge, because are you really in a relationship?

Benching can feel like emotional manipulation, leaving one feeling rejected and strung along while the fear of confrontation prevents you from seeking clarity.

However, there are ways to navigate the impact of benching and protect your emotional well-being. It all starts with setting boundaries and recognising your self-worth.

Have an open and honest conversation with the person benching you, expressing your expectations and desires for a committed relationship.

Be clear about your expectations and the status you seek - marriage, long-term relationship etc. Effective communication is key in any dating situation, so do not hesitate to seek clarity and closure.

Address your feelings and expectations assertively, ensuring that you are both on the same page.

To weather the storm of benching, you must prioritise self-care. Engage in activities that promote self-love and surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can encourage and understand you during these challenging times.

Building emotional resilience is crucial to cope with the emotional impact of this time-wasting 'situationship'. Cultivate mindfulness, engage in hobbies and seek professional support if needed to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Ultimately, it is vital to recognise when a dating situation is not serving your emotional well-being. If benching persists despite your efforts to communicate and set boundaries, it may be time to move on and find someone who values and appreciates you.

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